The Imposter Steps Out


There are few times that The Rules permit my touching the mortal world in any appreciable fashion. So, when such moments do arise, I must admit, I do approach with a certain gusto. Only my best, inky blackest, long tail flowingest coat will do (I’ve only the one coat really, I just will it to be fancier and slightly more sinister) as I walk out of The Tower With No Door, my boots scrape out an almost jaunty tattoo on the cobbles. The weight in my pockets tugs at the corners of my lips, my hands dipping into my pockets, fingering their contents, rummaging through until I grasp the box. It’s going to be a lovely day.
The Real folds around me, the Borderlands fading, trailing in whispers of strangeness. It’s a bright day, golden, early spring I believe, vague haloes of green hovering around the shapely, nude limbs of the trees, a rich jade mist rising from rich black soil. I seem to be in a park, some kind of open area with footpaths and trees and little benches. People flood and flock, whirling, almost grounded starlings in coats and scarves. Some sit, enjoying the bright but weak sunlight, wrapped in a fragrant fug of steam from cups held just below their faces so that their breath gets tangled in it. It is all too perfect.
I stride with purpose, pulling out the small casket, a shimmering four footed little beast that gleams like beetle wing case, purple-blue-green. I reach the rough center of the square or commons or whatever, watching, anticipation jumping nervous cat like from my shoulder blades. I set the box down reverently on a little table marked out for chess, fingers twitching as I manipulate the mechanism to open it. It’s very complex, I fumble with it a moment in my excitement. I would curse it’s tricksyness, but I know it needs be thus, don’t want it opening randomly, which it most certainly would do if left to its own devices.
The lid springs open, yawning out a rainbow. Within, flashing very strange glimmers are embers, coals, white hot, seemingly made of every single color and shade, some you’d know, others you’ve never heard of nor contemplated except in your stranger dreams or if you’ve hit your head particularly hard when they might flash momentarily at the edges of your vision. So lovely, crackling there, alive, wild, expectant. My breath catches, oh how I love this bit, I truly do…trembling, fingers itch crawl forward, digging in to my trove, writhing beneath, feeling the utter oddness. Imagine dipping your hand into fire made of water, it’s like that only not at all. I gather two fistfuls, great big bunches, holding my hands at my sides, tilting my head back, eyes closed, nostrils flaring, shivering in delight.
I let out a self indulgent whoop, tossing my hands to the sky, fingers uncaging, the bright gledes scattering, little crumbles of madness showering about like sparks. The set things afire, crackling blazes of bizzarre flames. I watch as it spreads, licking hands, turning hair into crowns of twisting strands, blown up by weird winds. Randomly, a passerby pirouettes, their feet alight, eyes flashing surprised delight as this touch of madness moves them. Songs break out, laughter, tiny bits of personal strangeness flow outward. All of this is wonderful, but I wait, I watch, for the best part. I see a spark nestle into an eye, the iris contracting, shimmering a very, very different color. This is it, the subtle change, oh yes, the shift. They look about, everything new, every single thing just a bit different. There is fear and wonder and exultation etched on thier features. Now, forever, this one will see the whole world how no one else sees it and will paint it, write it, sing it how they see it and it will change others too.
I cannot help but laugh, spinning in place, grabbing more, moving off and trailing madness like glitter. Never too much, never in one place lest the fires consume, that would be a horror not countenanced. No, with care, with prudence I spread the breadcrumbs of insanity on a spring day, setting the whole world ablaze with dreams. Tee hee…

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